Birthday Cake Club: Lemon Vanilla Bean Chiffon Cake
The fluffiest cake EVER with zesty lemon glaze.
Don’t tell the other cakes, but I think this one is my favorite. Chiffon cake is the perfect hybrid - it is springy and fluffy like a sponge cake but tender and flavorful like a butter cake. My family polished this cake off clean, and I think yours or whomever you are celebrating this month will too.
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It’s been chilly here in North Vancouver. The fresh snow that blanketed our backyard has stuck around all week. In the spirit of Birthday Cake Club and not wanting to make something too seasonally flavored (there’s plenty of heavy gingerbread cake options out there already), I was inspired by winter citrus and the glistening snow.
I almost exclusively pair chiffon cake with whipped cream, but this extra vanilla-y frosting is such a dream. Both the cake and silky Italian meringue buttercream are packed with vanilla bean seeds. For a punch of flavor, the cake is drizzled with a tangy lemon glaze. The sugared cranberries add the perfect amount of sparkle for a birthday-worthy cake.
If you have vanilla beans, this is the chance to use them. To remove the seeds, use the tip of a knife to cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Open the pod and run the blade of the knife along the inside. Scrape and collect all of the delicious little vanilla bean seeds.
Sometimes vanilla bean pods are plump and juicy enough to squeeze the seeds out. Snip off one end then squeeze out the insides. Afterwards, I’d still recommend cutting and scraping any remaining seeds out.
If you don’t have vanilla beans, vanilla bean paste is your second best option. Otherwise, use pure vanilla extract.
Chiffon cakes are typically baked in a plain tube pan. Left ungreased, the cake batter climbs up the sides of the pan for maximum height. Then, the cake cools in its pan UPSIDE DOWN. If your tube pan doesn’t feet, then thread the hole of the pan onto the neck of a wine bottle to cool.
See notes for baking in round cake pans.
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